Rosie Ellis’s Bespoke Confetti Company in the village of Woodgate on the Devon and Somerset border is making a name for itself in the wedding market. Producing entirely natural confetti, collected from fields of larkspur, cornflowers, marigolds and bougainvillea, the company was founded some years ago following a suggestion of one of Rosie’s neighbours. Although ‘natural’ confetti was already available, grown on an industrial scale on huge farms, Rosie Ellis decided to “have a go on a small scale”, growing flowers – without the use of chemicals or pesticides – on just three acres of farmland.
Now in its fifth year, the business is responding to a strong market for petal confetti as brides still prize the confetti shot in their wedding albums. And it overcomes the problems of tinsel and paper confetti litter that caused it to be banned from churchyards and other wedding reception venues. “This is truly environmental confetti, not the so-called ‘eco-confetti’ many suppliers advertise,” explained Rosie.
Whilst much of her business is online and through wedding planners, she also supplies local shops, including Hillcommon Stores and Wellington’s Interiors and Flowers and Frame of Mind. Twitter and Facebook have also helped to promote the product both at home and abroad. Brides in America, Australia and Russia have been showered in petals from Rosie’s Blackdowns field.
The first stage of production is in spring when the beds are seeded, then flower heads are picked in summer by teams of local students and the petals then dried in hammocks, some, according to Rosie Ellis, “in the spare bedroom.” Stored well, their colour is entirely preserved – as the boxes of brilliant petals in Rosie’s office confirmed.
Confetti comes in “any colour but green” according to Rosie and is sold in cones (using recycled paper from a local mill), in natural wicker baskets of various sizes made from locally woven Somerset willow and in handmade wooden trugs. Confetti is traditionally bought by the pint – one pint regarded as enough for ten guests.
“Throwing confetti at weddings is a custom dating back to pagan times,” said Rosie. Her enterprise and determination to provide an environmentally friendly product for brides is helping to keep that tradition alive – and adding those stunning shots to the wedding album